Most businesses want to catch the latest trend — but Eberhard Müller tries his best to stay several laps ahead of any wildly popular fad. By the time something reaches that stage, it has become a ho-hum yawner to the chefs who are his top customers.

Take a walk around his blocks of vegetables growing within earshot of the roaring cars practicing on Sebring, Florida’s famous racetrack, and you’ll come across crops rarely seen in the U.S. In fact, many Americans have never heard of some of them: mache, wild arugula, black kale, knob celery, fine leaf frisee and treviso chicory, and Mizuna mustard — all growing among more familiar baby head lettuce, carrots and leeks.

These delicacies wind up in the kitchens of some of the nation’s top chefs in New York City’s high-dollar restaurants. Müller knows what these renowned, highly competitive chefs want because for more than three decades he was one of them. He was executive chef at Le Bernardin, Lutece and Bayard’s, considered by food critics to be among the nation’s top tier restaurants, as well as Windows on the World atop the World Trade Center.

For several years, he’s been a full-time farmer, growing an array of carefully selected vegetables on Long Island, and is now in his fourth year turning out 180 acres of winter vegetables in Florida. After three winters working near Belle Glade, this year he moved to land owned by Star Farms outside Sebring.

“My customers want year-round supply,”he says, “and this is the only way to do it.”

As a chef, Müller was known to be obsessive about serving the freshest possible ingredients. He would personally go to Maine to check out the source of his fish or to Nantucket to visit a scallops supplier.

Perpetually disappointed with the freshness of vegetables shipped from California, at one point he had the restaurant fly produce direct from the West Coast to New York — which proved to be expensive, and unsatisfactory as well. He began to think the only way to get the freshest possible produce would be to grow it himself.

One evening in 1996, Paulette Satur, a wine consultant who grew up on a Pennsylvania dairy farm and had degrees from Penn State in both horticulture and plant physiology,  celebrated a friend’s birthday at Lutece.

Müller visited their table several times. She was interested in selling her company’s wine to the restaurant. Müller’s interest, however, transcended food and wine, and before long they were dating. A few months later, they were engaged and looking for land. She wanted to farm, as did Müller, and in 1997, they found what they wanted on Long Island’s North Fork. They named it Satur Farms.